Mason City police investigator one of final prosecution witnesses in Mason City man’s kidnapping trial

MASON CITY — Prosecutors are wrapping up their portion of the case at the kidnapping and sexual abuse trial of a Mason City man.

24-year-old Moises Erreguin-Labra is charged with first-degree kidnapping, sexual assault, as well as assault causing bodily injury. A criminal complaint states that Erreguin-Labra locked a female victim in a room in a home in the 400 block of 1st Southwest for at least five days in early June 2022, not allowing her to leave, and subjecting her to sexual abuse or torture.

Jennifer Sankey was the lead investigator for the Mason City Police Department in the case. She told the jury that she observed injuries that were consistent with multiple rounds of abuse.  “The injury, you could see lines that appeared to be from a hand, but in my opinion, there wouldn’t be one hit like that to cause the extent of the injuries, it would have to be more.”

Sankey says it was apparent in interviewing both Erreguin-Labra and the victim that she was not free to leave, including when they went to a nearby liquor store where she ended up calling police.  “That decision was based on my interview with her, with past experiences, with different statements that he had made to her, along with the emotional issues that we had spoken about earlier, as well as even his account. In our interview, when she finally was able to call police. He’s claiming that the only reason he didn’t go into the store with her was because he likes to look at fish, he wanted to be by the river to just look at fish. That just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Sankey says she did not have any doubts that Erreguin-Labra should be charged with first-degree kidnapping.  “It was based on him transporting her places and also assaulting her on several occasions physically, sexually, and different ways of demeaning her, putting her face in the toilet, calling her names, making death threats to her.”

Prosecutors appear that they will end their part of the case this morning with the defense starting to call witnesses. If Erreguin-Labra is convicted of first-degree kidnapping, a Class A felony, he would face a mandatory life prison sentence without the opportunity for parole.